A similar question: what else in our culture do you
get for a discount if you arrive after the start >time - concert? movie? baseball game?
college course? yoga class? childcare? lap swim at the Y? >massage? (I'm coming
up empty. Are there any such things?)
If you arrive at a stage show at the end of intermission you don't have to present a
and you can take any open seat. (And if somebody else is supposed to be in that seat they
probably have their stub.) I've read several memoirs of Broadway performers who
to buy tickets before they got their big breaks but saw the second acts of a bunch of
some of them many times. So that's free if you arrive late enough.
Airplane ticket pricing varies depending on how far in advance you purchase, and it
doesn't just go up. Fares purchased far ahead are often more expensive than fares
purchased 45 days ahead. (Obviously, not the same thing as selling you a half-price
ticket after the plane has taken off.)
There are an assortment of goods and services that get cheaper as it gets close to too
late to sell them at all. (Eg, day-old bread, cabins on cruises, theatre tickets via
half-price sale or student rush, same-day hotel rooms via hotwire or priceline.)
I've heard people say, indicating it was
problematic, "Some people (who arrived late) paid full price >for only 4
dances." Any perspective on that?
I think there's several questions in play here:
- What is the profit-maximizing pricing scheme
- in the short term (that is, for tonight)
- in the long term (does generating good will through free admission build the community
eventually produce more revenue?)
- How much are we concerned about giving poor value for money?
- How much are we concerned about giving people who can't otherwise afford to dance
- How much are we concerned about getting the most recompense for the band/caller?
- How much are we concerned about upsetting full-price payers with accommodations?
- What is logistically feasible?
(In the theatre ticket world, people are often willing to pay full price even though they
know that tickets will probably be on sale for half-price that same day, because they want
the certainty of knowing they'll see the show they wanted to see. Goldstar, which
sells discount tickets long ahead, still doesn't let you know which seat you're
buying until you pick up your ticket, so the availability of these discount options
doesn't destroy the full=price model and doesn't usually upset the full-price
I think the interplay of the answer to all those questions has to determine the policy for
each particular dance series.
That said, on the one hand, nobody held a gun to the head of the person who paid full
price and danced four dances; they paid the money, so it must have been worth it to them
to pay the money. (And in my Scout House story, I would have paid the money for one
contra and one waltz-but I sure liked not having to.)